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Any Interest in a Formal HPWC Charging Exchange via Membership?

Has anyone taken the time to put together an "exchange" of sorts for HPWC charging? For example, I own several vacation homes and we do "Home Exchanges" where we swap out credits and you can pick and choose where you go. I'm wondering if there is some efficient way to create an "exchange" where you 'swap' charging with destinations that you might frequent often. For example, someone from San Diego that goes to LA often and someone from LA that comes to San Diego often could swap and exchange "credit hours"?

At home I get 60 miles per hour charge and I assume many people also have that set up in other cities. So you could match up and look for fairer exchanges where you can charge at about the same speed. It seems like as more and more people buy Tesla's this would make sense to set up an exchange of sorts.

My charger isn't outside but I added a digital code on my garage door opener so that I can theoretically give a 4 digit code (that I can change after each exchange/visitor) so they can get access. And of course, if I'm home I can meet up with them, offer them drinks. But if not, I have a courtyard by the garage with comfortable furniture, table, fast Wi-Fi @ access so people could bring their laptops and work. Also, it would be easy to set out a cooler with drinks or a water cooler, etc.

I think that people need to be a bit of Pioneers and set up these kind of "exchanges". Who knows, it could even be profitable because you could set up an annual membership fee that you charge to join the website. Nothing major but enough to pay for the website. For example, on HomeExchange.com I pay $99 a year and I have access to exchange with properties all around the world.

I'd be willing to maybe set something like this up if there is enough interest. Would you all be interested in an "EV charger exchange" set up like this? If so, post here or feel free to PM me. I'd be interested in cities like Los Angeles, Palm Springs and a few others.

Yes, I know there are the superchargers but quite honestly I believe they are going to be inundated starting in 2014 with multiple hour waits and it seems like something what I'm talking about is much more efficient and makes more sense.

Yeah, I know you can advertise your property on Plugshare or other public websites, but quite honestly I'm not interested in letting every John Doe use my house and have access to it. The ExchangeEV.com website would be really organized and there would be more security control of people you are exchanging with. It would be safer vs. just letting some random Plugshare user to where you live.

Like the HomeExchange websites, you can share more personal information, and that information is only released to other fellow members. It can be linked to Facebook or LinkedIn so you have the ability to only swap with people that you trust.

And you can have photos of where to charge, welcome guides, etc. I think something like this heading into the future will be totally efficient, useful and powerful not to have to depend on only the SuperChargers while traveling.

Great idea; I would particpate but not organize. I live 10 miles from underutilized (so far) Darien SCs (8 stalls in total), so not sure many people would want to use my HPWC.

Thanks tes-s. I still think that probably now the # of people with HPWC's is very small but I'm convinced EV technology is here for the future and will get really huge further in the future.

Even though you live only 10 miles from an underutilized SC, in the future that could all change. I'm not familiar with SC but here in busier cities in Southern California I think it's going to be a major problem with waits. And even getting a guaranteed quick 60 miles an hour charge rather than potentially waiting in line for hours might be desirable.

Also, like home exchanges, many times I have given up using my property and never used the actual swap. But the people were super friendly, I could see a bit about their background. And in some cases through "it's a small world", we even had mutual friends/co-workers. For these type of people, in my "network" I'd also feel comfortable allow using mine even if I didn't plan to be in their city.

I'll investigate the idea/business plan further. I'm in the middle of a new start-up now but I think this would be an interesting project for the future and not terribly complicated.

I already put my HPWC on PlugShare, and I have found others on PlugShare (and I will be using one on the way back from the track Friday night). I'm happy to include mine in something like this if that is useful. I'm not interested in charging people to use it, nor would I be interested in paying an annual membership fee (unless maybe there just happened to be members right where it was most useful to me, then maybe).

@ jat. Assuming that there ARE members right where it was most useful to you on legs that you travel on frequently. What would something like that be worth to you? $25 to $50 a year assuming you could see ahead of time before signing up how many actual members are already signed up.

Obviously you wouldn't get the contact information unless you were a member but at least in principle you could see relatively where some of them were at so you could decide before you signed up if it was worth it.

I'm asking people to project out several years. It's not about today but the infrastructure 2,5, 10 years down the line.

Are people really that confident in the SuperCharger system and that it won't eventually get overcrowded?

The thing about Plugshare I imagine is you could get some people flake out. Much like home exchanges you can get flaky people unless the members are all qualified ahead of time via a membership. It works beautifully.

If I can easily arrange to arrive in Paris and have a luxury property swap waiting then I think arranging to swap EV charging should be relatively easy in theory?

But I guess it all boils down to how many people are interested. Everyone seems to want something for "free" but "free" really isn't free. You have to put a value on your time. So that's kind of the thought process on an idea like this.

Plus, I think you could potentially make some great friendships. I've made some lifelong friendships with people I've done home exchanges with. I think ultimately the same could be said for the network you make with something like this.

But ultimately I think there could be so much benefit to know you have a ready network of dependable, non-flaky people that have HPWC's that you know what flake out on you when you will depend on them for a vacation, business trip, you name it.

I posted this on TMC as well and a member asked me why we can't just use Plugshare. Here is my response.

Well, with Plugshare it seems like people either put a LOT of information out there like their names, addresses and phone numbers or they just have their phone number. I've never contacted a private owner from Plugshare before. I'm not even saying that Plugshare wouldn't be beneficial because I'm sure it is and will be. But what I'm talking about is just more organized, streamlined and efficient. I'd equate it to saying, why do I need to use LinkedIn when I can just exchange work information with people on Facebook or some of the many other sites out there.

Yes, I guess you could make it specific to Tesla owners. No, it's not sharing other information with owners per se but building up a reliable network of serious people that will swap on known paths. Same thing with various home exchange websites. You can EASILY contact owners from various vacation websites that are out there. HomeAway.com, VRBO.com, Flipkey.com, Airbnb.com and dozens of others. Yes, it can and does work but it's NOTHING like a dedicated website of like minded and SERIOUS people that want to exchange.

Yeah, I have arranged swaps with people that emailed me from my vacation rental list websites but it's NO WHERE near the quality of people from the dedicated swapping sites. The thing you have to keep in mind is human nature, people can be flaky. I just found that the member oriented sites people are more serious about things.

You have to think bigger scope and further out, IMHO. I'm not even saying it has to be expensive. But eventually you have to put a value on your time. If a website and network can save you tons of hassles and be more reliable than sifting through Plugshare, I can't imagine people wouldn't think it would be worth a $25 a year investment? Maybe I'm wrong.

Take an upcoming trip I have to Los Angeles for work here this week. I'm not sure I can hit Hawthorne on the way up early in the morning and I've heard in the afternoon it can be a multiple hour wait. Ideally, I'd GLADLY pay $25 if I had a definite known and verifiable source to charge that is close to my meeting. Having a more extensive network of dependable people so I don't have to depend so much on the supercharger would be totally worth it to me.

Yeah, I could probably sift around on Plugshare for a while but I don't know the people, don't know anything about them, don't even know if the listings are fake or real or made up. But with an organized network it just seems you could have a more efficient and trustworthy system where users rank their experience, leave comments, and know they are real and legitimate. All without having to filter through many options that may or may not be real.

Ideally, you put in a search engine where you are going and maybe even put people in that area that also want to come to your area. Then you can do a quick match up of people. Or if you are more flexible you leave it open. For example, when I want to go to London, I put in a search box people that want to come to Rio de Janeiro where I own a property. Then voila it gives me an instant match. I can then contact that owner and arrange a swap. You can further restrict searches by dates or leave date ranges open. You can add in all the places you are interested in or just make it so anyone can contact you.

Also, does Plugshare let you put in fields to check that there is wi-fi @, refreshments available, waiting area, or any other # of things. You can put tons of options like public parks nearby, nearby pool, distance to beach, biking trails, hiking trails, public libraries, cafes/restaurants, etc. Think bigger picture here guys. Yeah, you can probably piece together all of this with searches on Google Maps, Plugshare but what about having an infrastructure where you don't depend on Tesla Superchargers. We depend on one another??

I haven't ever had anyone "flake out" that I have contacted via PlugShare, nor have I run into any fake profiles. If you are going to build a product which somewhat competes with it, perhaps you should try it before you bash it.

If you think there is a business opportunity here, go for it. But I think it is a tiny niche of already a tiny niche market, so I don't see there is room to make much money on it. When I am charging at some other person's house, I don't really care about any of those things -- I just want to get enough charge to get to my next destination, and I am happy to sit in my car and read during that time -- I don't need entertainment.

Personally, I think any time you have to settle for L2 charging while you are waiting to make it to your destination, that is a sign that the car isn't working that well for you. Sure, we get plenty of other benefits so we are willing to put up with it occasionally (for me, it is only on things like going to the track when I will burn through the battery capacity quickly, or perhaps on a long trip before Superchargers are built out), but it can't be a regular occurrence. That itself seems to limit the market for any of these ideas.

Regarding the pricing point, I would be more likely to pay a fee per use than I would to subscribe to something ahead of time, as I don't know how often it would be useful.

@jat.

Thanks! That is great info. Oh I totally agree I need to try and see how dependable Plugshare residential owners are. I wasn't bashing Plugshare or any of the other sites out there. I just think they can be taken to another level.

I think people need to forget about the idea of the monetization of it. It seems like people are too focused on that instead of thinking about the possibilities of how useful it can be further down the road.

It's one thing to say that you wouldn't use it, you wouldn't find it useful, don't need it but I'm not asking people to worry about the monetization part of it. Just how useful they might find it.

Thanks also for the input about pay per use fee rather than subscription model. But I don't want people to focus too much on the monetization part.

In short @Jat, would you use this service if it was free or Tesla paid for it for the first year?

If it provided value, yes. However, PlugShare already fills that niche for me, so it would have to include charging locations that weren't listed there or I wouldn't even bother (the extra features you talk about are of such tiny value to me that they wouldn't influence my decision at all). In addition, it would have to be enough better to overcome inertia (I kept using AltaVista for a while after Google started because it worked well enough for me - it wasn't until AV became inundated with spam that I switched). So, if it only listed member sites and I had to go to PlugShare in addition, it probably wouldn't be of interest - arguably, Blink or Chargepoint sites are better for finding their respective chargers than PlugShare, but I don't bother because PlugShare is a one-stop-shop for my needs.

@earlyretirement: I think this is a good idea. I see the birds-of-a-feature approach to this as having value and understand how limiting one's general public visibility might be nice.

I would kick in $25 or $50 "just because" - I did it with Chargepoint (put in $25 to get two cards and a $25 credit I may never use.

I'd view it as a club (meet some nice Tesla owners) and a great resource (good place to get a quick charge when needed).

Maybe one of the current charger location services could have a "private group" feature for HPWC - not have to reinvent...

Agree with tes-s - "I would kick in $25 or $50 "just because" - I did it with Chargepoint (put in $25 to get two cards and a $25 credit I may never use."

While an exchange network might work well if enough of a network is developed, I also see potential in the idea of co-owning an HPWC installed at a specific second home location. At the risk of hijacking the thread, suspect there might be a group of 10 people in the San Francisco Bay area willing to chip in for a HPWC to be installed in an easily accessible spot in Tahoe City or South Lake Tahoe. Some form of lock over the charging connector or cable could ensure that only owners use the charger and either a per use or annual contribution would ensure that the home where it is installed doesn't incur all of the electricity cost.

Thanks tes-s and konassc for your thoughts. (Others as well). Sure, I don't mean to reinvent the wheel. If Plugshare can incorporate these features what I'm talking about all the better! My goal wasn't to try to get rich off this business. It was to get our creative juices and ideas flowing so that we all benefit.

I might still do this project even if it's not to make tons of money. It's good people realize that it would be worth it to kick in a bit to create something amazing like this.

I also like your idea konassc. I don't mind if people post other ideas on this thread related to this topic.

Again, the goal isn't to make money. If so, I wouldn't have posted this publicly. But I think there is REAL value for Tesla, and current and future buyers of Tesla cars.

Yes, dupe keys to a padlock would work.

Currently there are not enough superchargers and I would encourage everyone with an HPWC, who doesn't mind making new friends, to please publish their residential HPWCs on Plugshare.com. You do not have to release your address to the public, and you can position the dot on the map to your liking so you don't have to reveal your actual physical location (you can be approximate). I chose to only reveal my phone number, but you don't even have to do that.

I offer my HPWC free of charge to anyone who wishes to use it, provided that I'm home. Free chips and salsa, and lots of Tesla talk! :)

+1 AmpedRealtor. That will work for some people and won't for others. Just in emailing and PM'ing with some people it seems like there are many like me that don't want to post my phone number or address publicly. Sure, you can post the approximate location and I think that's great for people that are comfortable doing that.

But the type of thing that I was speaking about was much more organized in nature with the added benefit of privacy.

I also heard from another owner about http://www.teslaowners.com that looks like a great option and they swap chargers.

@ Amped - You have a free place to charge if you come to San Diego. :)

Had my HWPC on plugshare for over 7 months and not one bite yet...
Maybe im to close to a few superchargers.....

Im in between Hawthorne and Tejon.

AmpedRealtor. You need to come to our vacation home in Rancho Mirage and let me pay you back for your hospitality and electricity ... Jay

@ Jay W. Do you ever come up to San Diego? Let me know if you're interested in a regular exchange partner as we are planning to go to Palm Springs/Desert area more often. I know a few hotels have chargers in that area but still would love a back up option.

Email me if you're interested in a swap in San Diego.

tmsp85@gmail.com

@AmpedRealtor: Couldn't your idea be implemented in a simple way by starting a private thread right here titled "HPWC exchange club" and ask willing Model S owners to post their location and contact info and other pertinent info (hours of availability, etc.), which would be visible only to other Model S owners in this thread. No cost. TMC already provides the forum. :-p

Awe thanks guys! I haven't taken any road trips yet, but maybe soon... :)

@flyshacker - that would certainly be a good way to get started and gauge interest

I just finished my first road trip and first visit to a Tesla Super Charger (Hawthorne). I'm CONVINCED this is the future. EV's are here to stay. We have turned a corner. It might take over a decade but THIS is the future.

I'm also convinced that what I'm talking about here does make sense. No, it won't be easy and maybe expensive and it might take years. People might not think they need it but it's kind of like Apple. Apple develops things that you never thought you'd need until you use it.

I am uploading a Video Trip Report of my San Diego to LA to San Diego trip right now to YouTube and I'll post it here once it's uploaded but I can't rave enough about this car.

Kudos to Elon and the Tesla team. I'm definitely buying a Model X to replace my Audi Q7 TDI once it comes out.

I live in the Dayton, OH area, also known as Supercharger Flyover Country. I decided to install my HPWC at work, which is right off an I-75 exit, and make it available to the public. I listed it on Plugshare, Recargo, and the DOE site. Our business gets the installation credit, and it helps us with our green certification. If you don't need yours at home, you might consider having it installed at your business and open it up for sharing.

I recently took a trip to Pittsburgh, and there was a Tesla owner on the route with a HPWC that made it available to Tesla owners. I like to think of the HPWCs as Supercharger Lite. It is so much better than watching the miles creep along plugged into a standard Level 2 charger.

That's wonderful Andrew! I agree with you that in the future these HPWC will e an "extension" of the Supercharger network. There will be all kinds of different possibilities in the future. Man this technology gets me excited.

@Andrew - In a similar vein, a friend and I are looking at getting an HPWC installed at a bed and breakfast near a track we frequent, so we can charge up before/during/after track sessions. Otherwise, we have to charge at 120V/16A (or 208V/20A if the body shop is open and not using their compressor), which isn't enough to run all day.

@earlyretirement: if you're really interested in this, email me at [my screen name] at gmail dot com.

@sxross,

Yes I'm dead serious in this idea. I will email you later today. Think of the possibilities in the future in this private network of fast chargers. I already have swapped private information with owners with HPWCs from this thread. Imagine a worldwide network! The power of something like that would be incredible. Superchargers are great but not going to be feasible in the future without incredibly long waits.

Plugshare is great and room for it and other sites but like me many people don't want their details out there for the world to see or have to waste time qualifying a future swap partner. Better technology exists.

I just put a reservation down last night for the Model X. This IS the future.

Some great ideas here, and worthy of further discussion, but I don't believe any of it applies to those of us (majority, I believe) who do not have the twin chargers aboard, and therefore unable to use any HPWC. Correct?

@ procarl,

Well, theoretically it doesn't just have to be fast chargers. Again, I get plugshare and they are great. And it would be GREAT if they incorporated some of these ideas I'm talking about.

But people don't understand the back side of this. Where it's all about the "experience" of charging/swapping amps.

The key I believe is the filtering so each owner can put in distance in blocks/miles of the nearest movie theatre, park, ice cream store, restaurant, fast food, library, you name it!

Yes, there is Google Maps. Yes, there is Plugshare. But again, it's kind of a crap shoot and you have to waste a lot of time sifting through the map or looking. All I'm saying is there exists a great opportunity to make something from scratch. Something so helpful and efficient so that it creates a "charging experience".

You just put you want to charge somewhere where there is a movie theatre or library or whatever. Obviously the owner of the charger would need to enter that data but the control panel/backend could be designed in a way that was really easy. So it lists everything out on a map/list that is checked off in a box.

And again, it wouldn't be total strangers because it could be possibly linked to LinkedIn or Facebook profiles where you are only changing with Friends of friends or people you at least have a 2/3 degree separation.

If Plugshare can take these ideas and run with it all the better. If Tesla wants to get involved that would be KEY because they could note who are true owners and also possibly link the iPhone/Android App to have some functionality in the future.

Just ideas....

An enhanced plugshare (or similar service) makes a lot of sense to me. I think the two enhancements you have suggested are:
1. A private group. Right now there is just one "private" group - those that have logged in. If they would offer "groups" that people could join openly, and ones that require invitation/approval, that would achieve the private HPWC group.
2. Enhanced "location" information. Besides the characteristics and availability of the charger, information about what is close by. This would be entered by the person adding the charger location, and be searchable.


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